Plenum wires/compression fittings (1 Viewer)

navychop

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After I finished several renovations to my townhouse, including wiring almost every room with OTA, satellite, cable, network & phone ports, She Who Must Be Obeyed decided she wanted to move to a single family detached. After carefully explaining how we spent top dollar on new windows, new kitchen, etc, and how it doesn't really make any sense to move, I succeeded in convincing her that she was gonna win this one. :confused: :what

So now I must start all over with the wiring in a new place we are seriously considering buying. There are no open ceilings I can access, and no basement. I can get at the upper level from the attic. I figure I'll be cutting drywall to fish down to the lower level, or running wires outside the house (I HATE that, appearance wise). In the townhouse, I used plenum rated cat 5e throughout. Some cables, and some coax & phone lines, went thru ducting. I want to avoid that in the new place, but may be forced to go thru ducting.

I understand that if I go thru ducting, I am supposed to use plenum rated, but in wall I am not. Posts indicate it will be quite difficult to put connectors on plenum coax. I've always used crimp inside the house and the installer always used compression outside the house. Other posts discuss copper vs copper clad steel without seeming to show a great advantage either way. Quad or triple shielding is mentioned as the better way to go.

So how should I go about doing this the "right" way in the "new" 1977 built house? If I can, I will run 3 or 4 coax to each drop and try to centralize them all at some point, probably in the attic (2 for ViP622, 2 for 721, 1 for 508, extra to run "stereo agile" coax output to another room TBD, plus OTA). Existing cableco coax will be left in place separately. Two network and one phone will be run also. I'd like to put the network patch panel next to the cable distro point, but the attic may get too hot for a DSL modem and router.

Since I'm running the coax anyway, is it better to run separate OTA coax and avoid diplexers? I've done it both ways in the townhouse.

Are compression fittings really needed inside the home? Crimp "more than good enough?"

If I avoid the ductwork approach, is there any reason to pay double or triple to get plenum rated cables (coax, cat 6, phone)?

I'm leaning toward getting a composite cable such as this for ease of installation. It has 2 RG-6 quad shielded copper clad steel coax and 2 cat-5e (not cat 6). I'd also use this double thorax cable- 2 RG-6 quad shielded copper clad steel. Both cables claim to be swept to 3 GHz and neither are plenum rated.

Is there a channel way specifically designed for running cables outside the home for improved appearance over bare cables?

I'm having no luck in finding twist counts on phone cables- anyone recommend a high quality phone cable source?

Any other considerations or suggestions on "doing it right?"

Thank you all for any assistance you may render.
 

bhelms

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Maybe some help ??

Navychop - Why not wire what you must and go wireless with as much as you can ?? That can include your data network, phones, video/L+R audio for SD feeds to remote sets, etc. Then you're really only left with the sat. and OTA feeds. Can you use the existing coax for any of that?

I'd stay away from the quad shield for the sat. feeds unless you intend to diplex them. Wasted money otherwise. I can't see any reason for plenum-rated cables if they're not actually in the ducts somewhere. Is the outside vinyl siding? You might have some success tucking the cables under the siding.

Not much help here, but just my 2-cents worth...
 

navychop

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Thank you for the input.

11g doesn't support video very well. N might, but that's not really here, despite the claims of some companies that jumped the gun. Gotta wire coax anyway, at least for satellite, so wherever I run that, I might as well run the rest. But I might set up part of the net as wireless, and set up some strong security.

The cableco coax is visible all around the house- I'll either reroute/cover it or decommission it. I feel that giving a potential future buyer the option of running OTA, cable & satellite all together is a selling point. My last home I poured a ton of money for top quality renovations, including a ground coupled heat pump, thinking I was going to retire in that house. Didn't happen. Then I poured a ton of money and my heart and soul into this townhouse, thinking I'd be in it 15-20 years. Looks like that's going to be 5 or 6 years. Not sure I can go that route again, we'll see.

Exterior is brick and aluminum siding. Gotta cross both to get to destination, or figure a way inside. I'm not too keen on drywall repairs, but I guess I'll be doing more in the future.

I have a video transmitter for some use, perhaps one remote TV. It works well enough for SD, as long as nobody nearby uses their wireless phone.

Do you recommend a wireless feed to 5.1 speakers?
 

bhelms

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Clearly you have researched your options well and I'm not up on the latest wireless technology at all. (I'm still using a dial-up at home!) How soon until we can pull a single fiber everywhere and stack everything on it?

If I was building another place today, in addition to home-running all the coax, cat. 6, 'net wires, etc., I'd still put conduit in so I can pull future stuff as well, at least to the media centers!
navychop said:
...Do you recommend a wireless feed to 5.1 speakers?
Sorry - no experience with the wireless speakers, but obviously they're intended for situations where you can't or don't want to pull wires. Some additional up-front cost for that convenience, but it might be worth it...

Have a good one...!
 

mike123abc

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Have you considered direct burial cable? then you only have a small run up the wall, perhaps it can be behind bushes?

Another way I have used in my house is running electrical conduit down the wall (behind the house where it is not very visible) from the attic to the first floor. I then painted the conduit to match the brick. It is not very visible then.
 

navychop

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I wish I was building. But the conduit and paint idea may be the best yet. I'm hoping to find a square tube kind of thing, but that may not be. Almost anything has got to be better than bare coax. Any benefits to metal over plastic conduit? Paint adhesion?
 

navychop

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Anyone have any idea of the quality of that composite cable in post #1?

Or if compression offers anything over crimp for interior applications?

Thanks for the word so far, esp on avoiding wireless speakers- I was considering them.
 

rc811002

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Structured cable is a good choice for covering bases in new installations. As long as it is rated (3ghz and Cat5, 5e or 6) it will meet standards. There is also structured cable that contains fiber.

As for crimp v compression -- the benefit of compression inside is that they are less likely to seperate if someone steps on a cable. That is, unless you live in a wet environment. Perhaps a leaky roof or in an aquarium!

Flat phone cord has no twists. Cat3 has 3 twists per foot. I meant per inch. I really should wait til 6:00AM to post... Apologize for this term, the twists resist inductance or crosstalk. Cat 5, 5e and 6 have more twists per foot. The wire twists act sorta like the shielding on coax. If possible, only use flat cable from the phone set to the handset. Use at least cat3 for runs from the demarc to the phoneset. Phone companies will not work on flat cable from the demarc to the phoneset.

Also, if you use structured cable, you can use one of the Cat5 TP's for phone. In a residential installation, it is rare to need two Cat5's for networking. However, you never really know....
 
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navychop

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Actually, the standard is to put 2 network jacks at each location. In my home office area, I will need at least 3- 2 computers and a printer, possibly 2, connected to the net. With the printers connected to the net, any laptop or computer anywhere on the net can print, without a requiring a host PC to be on. Also, with the new DISH equipment having Ethernet ports, I'm sure I'll have a need for 2 network connections for each TV- for satellite STB & to connect a laptop or HTPC.

I understand about the twists. At one point I used Rat Shack telephone wire and had crosstalk because of inadequate twists. I found no twist counts on advertised phone cable and was hoping someone knew a good brand. Based on your comments, I guess I'll just go with the Cat 3 from Cables to Go or wherever I buy the rest of the stuff. 3 twists per foot? Or inch?

The composite cable mentioned above is spec'd fine- I just wondered about the picture of it and needed to consider any drawback to the concept that I might be clueless about. It looks like some boxes will have a structured/composite cable, a single or double thorax coax, and a phone line.

Thank you for your assistance.
 

herdfan

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navychop said:
Since I'm running the coax anyway, is it better to run separate OTA coax and avoid diplexers?

Are compression fittings really needed inside the home? Crimp "more than good enough?")?

I'm leaning toward getting a composite cable such as this for ease of installation.

Yes to separate OTA over a diplexed solution. You posted this in the E* forum, but if you ever go to D*, their new AT9 dish doesn't allow for diplexers. So yes, run a separate line.

Are they needed, No. Are they the best solution, Yes. I have all compression fittings, but mainly because I had them and the tools.

It may seem easier, but its not. For new construction, maybe, but trying to fish through walls, no. It is bulky, hard to bend and pull through tight places. Your best bet is run the wires separately.

My suggestion, is to learn how to finish drywall. Before you move in, go run all your cables cutting what ever holes you need to fish the wires and patch them before move-in day. Much higher WAF.

Good luck.
 

herdfan

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navychop said:
I understand about the twists. At one point I used Rat Shack telephone wire and had crosstalk because of inadequate twists. I found no twist counts on advertised phone cable and was hoping someone knew a good brand. Based on your comments, I guess I'll just go with the Cat 3 from Cables to Go or wherever I buy the rest of the stuff. 3 twists per foot? Or inch?
For re-wiring my current house, I used Belden 1583A (1585A is Plenum version) for network applications and the Home Depot CAT5e for telephone and IR. You really can tell the difference between them.

Twists are per inch.
 

navychop

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I was wondering about the curve radius. Stiffness helps in some situations, but with limited access to bend it down a hole drilled into a 2x4 wall cap- oh well.

I've done a few dry wall patches, with acceptable results, per SWMBO. But it's far from my favorite home repair. In a couple of places, I may put up an access door. I did that near a circuit panel once. Came in handy later. You're right, whatever I do needs to be pretty much completed before move in. That'll make for a few hectic days. So far I'm estimating the installation of at least 18 network jacks, 13 coax drops, and 9 phone jacks. Probably more when we get down to it. It looks like a thousand dollar job by the time it's over.

Are you saying you got higher speeds with Belden or that it was easier to work with? Or quality of workmanship in the cable's construction?
 

rc811002

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For a network dependant on 100% 100m speeds, two drops are required. Two drops are handy if one of the drops goes TU. It helps with service level percentage if the affected user can be fixed at the closet and by moving a wire from one drop to the other. Downtime is minimized.
For us schlubs with 384 up, one drop, a router and some switches is more than adequete. In fact, I am now using Vonage, so my computers (11) and two Vonage lines share a minimum number of cat5e. Of course, the only service level I have here is that AOL must be working for the kiddos.

I understand the coax needs. I would ask why you staying with a wired network with the cost of wireless networks? It seems that for a grand, you should be able to put in the coax and buy an access point and a few wireless adapters for your computers along with cordless phone multi-sets for your phone needs. This would get rid of a lot of speghetti. I am only using wire because at the time I built my network, wireless networks were still in the lab. We walked to school uphill, both ways...
 

navychop

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The 11g wireless is not dependable for video or over some distance thru walls and floor. By dependable, I am discussing speed maintained. The "pre-N" stuff looks GREAT but will no doubt be not quite standard or compliant when N comes out- meaning it will need to be replaced in the not too distant future. Plus, since I need to run the coax anyway, how much more difficult is it to run cat 5e? And I am concerned that wired is far more secure than wireless. I do online banking and other financial transactions. Not good for sharing with neighbors or others.

OTOH, I will likely put in wireless anyway, at some point, for convenience in using the wired/wireless laptop that my wife is moving to for her main machine. I can learn about securing wireless then.

But I need something up and running in about a month.

Both ways, huh? Escher High? :haha
 
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